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Tom DeRusso – Lanier Middle School

Name: Tom DeRusso

School: Lanier Middle School

Grade/Subject: 7th Grade US History

How long have you been a teacher? 

-Six years

What is your favorite lesson of the year? 

-My favorite lesson of the year has to be our mock labor strike during the Progressive Movement Unit.  After learning about labor unions, students form their own labor union and each one is given a picket sign.  We march around the school in a picket line before our labor rally on the steps of the school.  Certain students are selected as union leaders and they read their demands to me (the factory owner), and I decide whether the union wins or loses the strike.

What do you like most about your school?

-I would say all of the technology that is available at Lanier.  We have a seemingly endless supply of mobile laptop carts and netbooks, as well as tablets for student use.  The administration is also encouraging the use of student devices to supplement instruction, which has the potential to transform our classrooms.

Why do you like this grade (best thing about this age of students)

-It would have to be enthusiasm.  7th graders are easily excited and if it is channeled the right way it can lead to a very engaged classroom.

One tip for parents:

-Use FCPS 24/7 blackboard, it will help you be more aware of what is going on in your child’s classes.


5 Quick Q&A

Favorite book?

-The Secret Lives of US Presidents by Cormac O’Brien

College/University attended?

-Cortland State University of New York (BA in Social Studies Education); George Mason University (M. Ed.-Integrating Technology in Schools)

If you could be another profession, what would it be?

-A professional golfer!

Favorite place to travel?

-My wife and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and it was amazing, I would love to go back.

Favorite thing to do on weekends?

-Spend time with my wife and daughter, exercise, and play golf!

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